A Woman Alone: Autobiographical Writings Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What did the British bring to South Africa, which aided women as food producers?

2. Bessie states that the system in South Africa sees blacks as not what?

3. In Chapter 2, what does Bessie state is responsible for the elimination of polygamy in Botswana?

4. How did the British refer to Botswana in the early 1800's?

5. In Chapter 2, Bessie states that the only education for blacks in South Africa is what?

Short Essay Questions

1. In Chapter 2, what does Bessie think that the spirit of the Nigra Goddess has done for the blacks in America?

2. How are Bessie and the American woman different?

3. Why was it so difficult for Bessie to deal with South Africa creatively?

4. In "Despite Broken Bondage . . .," how were women treated in Africa before independence?

5. What was Bessie's first experience of racism in a black form?

6. How does Bessie describe the world that a black South African is born into?

7. In "Social and Political Pressures . . . ," what astonished Bessie about the book "One Hundred Years of Solitude"?

8. In "African Religions," what does Bessie state is at the root of religion in Africa?

9. In "Notes on Novels," why is Bessie having difficulty writing about her years in South Africa?

10. What is Bessie's opinion of Botswana men?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In "An unspeakable crime", Bessie expresses her disdain of the Coloured Affairs Department. What are they doing in Port Elizabeth and Capetown that she disagrees with? Describe the actions of the coloureds, whom she feels are accessories to the crime. Are they ashamed of their actions? Should they be? Do you think that they truly don't know their own minds and think that the Coloured Affairs Department knows what's best for their children? Or, do they see the situation for what it is and go along with it because it's the only way to survive?

Essay Topic 2

After reading "A Woman Alone," what are your views on oppression? How does it begin? What is it based on? Does it spiral out of control or is it a deliberate action? How do events in South Africa since he 1990s seem compared to the hopes of the previously oppressed people?

Essay Topic 3

The American woman filled Bessie's world when she arrived in Serowe. Describe her physical characteristics. What made her stand out in the village? What did Bessie come to see her as? If Bessie would have been a more religious person, do you think she would have attributed the "Nigra Goddess" characteristics to the American woman? Was this filling a void for her where religion might have been? Or, do you think that she truly saw God in this woman? The American woman could at times be harsh with Bessie. Was this fair to Bessie? Was there any way that the she could relate to the horrors that Bessie had experienced in her life? Do you think that she was harsh because she thought that Bessie was self-absorbed? Or, do you think that she was harsh because she was trying to encourage Bessie to close the door on the past and move forward by thinking of and helping others?

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